We receive many emails a day from customers - from customers asking our advice, asking if we can obtain specific products, asking about discounts, asking to be informed when a particular product comes back into stock etc etc etc etc...
At the moment, managing all of these is a nightmare. We have rules set up that put the email into a particular folder based on the subject line, but it's our replies to the customer and their subsequent replies that get a bit muddled. Coupled with the fact that many customers don't appear to know how to reply so they just create a new message - and we have to sift through all our sent mails to find out to what their 'yes please' relates.
Is it just a matter of finding (god knows where) time at the end of the day to sift through all the emails and file them accordingly or is there anything out there that can help us?
What would be really nice is for outlook or something similar to create a new folder when a message is received based on the email address of the sender. Any subsequent emails from that customer would be put in the same folder. Oh, and automatically put replies to that customer in the same folder!
jmbishop - thanks for the info. I've searched and most of the ones I've clicked on want my email and web address before I can get to any information on what they do and how they do it.
Can I pick your brains first please? I would prefer a way of managing the emails - and not having to retype any information - is this what these can do or are they webbased tracking which you update daily?
If you have the know-how to build a webstore, programming a ticket system shouldn't be too dificult. Its a really simple and almost like a forum. What language does your site run on? Unless the system runs on another server you will need something like PHP.
[google.com...] <- first result on google, second and third programs in this index are FREE PHP support ticket systems. I have the specific URL of a nice one but posting it is against terms right? PM me if you want that.
You could on an emxperimental or permanent basis outsource your email handling. This could be done to a professional company, or alternatively, the work at home moms network could be a very unique area to tap into.
Just think of it as this way, if YOU spend 3 hours a day sorting/replying to email, and your time is worth say $40/hour, I am sure there is a work-at-home-mom/student/etc. who could work with you for say $10/hour or something like that.
You actually answer customer emails? But seriously, lately I don't even post an email on a web site. An online form with a drop down menu for the subject seems to solve alot of problems, including spam. Beyond this, the next step would be to implement CRM software as already mentioned.